Mendoza: Saluting Silver on his golden stand

Al Mendoza

I'M back from the U.S. thank God, and may I say again that over there, freedom of expression is very much alive. As in the Philippines.

But there is no freedom of expression in China. As in Russia.

That’s because democracy is the system of government in both the U.S. and the Philippines.

But not in both China and Russia, whose form of government is communism-based aka dictatorship if not one-man rule.

To state the obvious, democracy allows one to speak freely about his opinions and beliefs without fear of reprisal, arrest and detention by those in power.

Not under communism, which prohibits free speech and, thus, disallows, in principle, a citizen to speak against the government or its leaders. Anyone violating this runs the risk of getting thrown behind bars, and rotting in jail without charges.

So, what is democracy again? It’s this:

“F*ck Trump” reads a placard held by a man at the Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, CA.

I said “hi” to the dude with the James Harden beard as I walked by him some three or so weeks ago in the company of writer-journalist Sol F. Juvida and her nephew, Dondon, of suburban Lathrop.

The game guy gave me a wink.

Nobody actually gave a hoot to his placard. The crowd, tourists, generally ignored him like an inconsequential insect.

Not Sol J. She captured the moment with a cellphone shot.

“Cool,” she said.

Will you ever see a “F*ck Xi” placard in Beijing, or a “F*ck Putin” placard in Moscow?

“Freedom of expression,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has said in defense of the now-deleted tweet of Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey, which read: “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.”

The tweet piqued China, Hong Kong’s “boss,” so bad the Lakers-Nets games got almost bumped off in Shanghai and Shenzhen.

I salute Silver’s golden view, which is to “stand by our principles.”

If there should be consequences arising from Morey’s tweet, Silver said he wasn’t budging as “I still feel it’s very, very important to adhere to those values” of free speech.

Here’s a silver minted in gold.